GREat Expectations

In the last couple of months, I’ve been asked over a million times what any unemployed-unmarried- recent graduate male hates to answer – ‘What next?’.    ‘I am studying for the GRE’ is my furtive answer. What follows is an annoying generic pregnant pause which threatens to kill the conversation. But my inquisitor ends it with an even more annoying comeback like ‘Oh…I see. America huh?’ (Other slangs for the country like USA, US of A, States, Uncle Sam’s Land, Dollar Dreams, Stars and Stripes are often used generously).

I hate it. They judge me. In that pregnant pause I can see them scripting the next 200 years of my life. I guess it goes like this-

Sanket goes to US; completes his MS; gets a job in the US; the job is in LA; he visits India once a year; after three years his mother persuades him to get married; he gets married to a nice Indian girl with a dollar sign for pupils; they move to the suburbs; he buys a Ford sedan which burns more gas than all of  Kothrud; their house is BIG; it has a swimming pool; they have a couple of kids; they name them Krishna and Soundarya; he gets a green ca…….

Is that how they want my life to be? Is that how I want my life to be? I don’t want the movie of my life to be scripted that way. Except for the girl maybe (without the scary pupils) I don’t want a Ford sedan. And I hate the name Soundarya.

Then why am I giving GRE? I don’t know. Everybody else is doing it. All my friends have given it. Most of my friends are already there. It sounds cool. Convinced? No? Me neither. The truth now. I’m not smart enough to get into an IIT. Or, I’m smart enough not to slog for the IIT entrance and learn fifty different words for ‘lust’ to clear GRE. Because my dad can afford it. Because I want to be exposed to  ‘International Educational Standards’ (borrowed directly from visa interview forums).

The plot demands it. The career graph should go upward, right? Or in this case westward. Oh the West! We Indians Love it. The movies, the music, the women, the accent. I mean who wouldn’t. My beloved IT geeks from Bangalore worship it. Their sun rises in the Occident. They drop the names of western cities like eight year old Sanket would do with the WWF wrestlers’ physical attributes. They construct their conversations around it. I don’t blame them. It is their USP in the job market, matrimonial sites or any other social endeavors. It’s in our DNA. I believe if our DNA is kept in an isolated atmosphere, it will point west.

Looking at the overwhelming presence of the western pop-culture in India, one wouldn’t think twice before joining the mass exodus to the west. More than half of the people I knew from my college are already there. And hell, they love it there! By a quick look at their bulging orkut albums sporting the names like ‘Fall-2008’ or ‘My department’ or ‘My first snow’, one wouldn’t think otherwise. I wouldn’t blame them either. It is their prerogative. It is their script.

The Act Two of mine however, is giving a lot of problems. Too many plot holes, too many extras, mean producers and no heroine. It promises to be a rollercoaster for the initial part, but the plot-mein-twist is nowhere to be seen. I realize it is too early for me to go gaga over The Meaning of Life (not the movie), but somewhere between learning the words like subpoena, usury or bourgeois and deciphering an esoteric essay of an obscure author on ‘Social effects of the tribal wars in the Aztec Civilization’, I just feel lost.

May be Mr. Barron can show me the way.






Filed under Choice, Non Fiction

19 responses to “GREat Expectations

  1. Luffly. If this is to be the standard of your future post, I can assure you I will be agog with anticipation every time you send me the notification mail.
    (And don’t you dare skip those – I am lazy and need a link to get off my arse and visit a blog.)

  2. Nihar Tople

    Good one buddy. What if you find a girl called soundarya? She ll probably be from Bangalore or Chennai with long hair always tied up in braids and obviously always oiled. WHat are the prospects of you marrying her?

  3. Preetesh

    “I believe if our DNA is kept in an isolated atmosphere, it will point west.”… ha ha ha…
    sad but true…

  4. Gaurav Singhal

    Really a good one!!!

    Sometimes we never think in which direction we are going, why we are doing whatever we are doing. Internal satisfaction, sense of fulfilment and happiness take a back seat and give way to other’s desires, expectations and way of thinking.

  5. It was fun reading this!! Brought back a lot of my own confusion memories 🙂 Keep writing.

  6. ojas

    ya…..i think that u have done with 40 word list completely…..

  7. mahan…finally u strtd coming towards the endless Chaha pohe discussions we had…
    great one dude… paas 40 wordlist zalelya disat aahet 😛

  8. Niraj

    I want you to note the fact that I had to look into the dictionary for some of the words you have written in this blog. Also I do agree that you have surely take your writing to better level than the First as the second one really doesn’t test your writing skills than your imagination or in your case a real life experience. Also keeping sending the links as and when u write. They are getting interesting as they come.

  9. sanketuk

    :D…..will do….as for the words-this is a good way of practicing them 😛

  10. hey man way to go!!
    very well written… im just jealous of u guys yaar, u, alok n other ppl who r able to write so well. hell i cant even think on such lines.. 😦
    do keep posting more n let me know when ur next one is out.. b sure i’l read it 🙂 🙂

  11. Divya

    confusions of every engineer. well.. almost every.
    Well put.

    I liked the confession of why you can’t get into IIT. I would say the same too.

    So.. like someone asked.. what if the girl turns out to be soundarya.. with braided , oiled hair and with loads of flower in her hair? n yes bulging pupil? 😛
    and what if she says ‘I don’t wanna marry him?’ 😛

  12. Ameya

    hi … masta likkha hia yar tune …. sachmein woh purane din yaad aa gaen… i also had same feelings befor i left to DA US… a new name in u r list …. par sach mein yar …. achha likhha hai tune …

  13. Pooja

    Masta ahet saglech posts!! I think pretty much all of our friends will identify with this one. will definitely keep an eye on future posts too. keep writing:)

  14. Chetan

    I think you are talking about the whole American dream which is completely out of context as of today. 😛 Except the gallons-guzzling Ford, you can pretty much forget about the rest of the “wish-list”. And it can be an awesome experience if you are willing to walk that extra mile away from looking for “funding” and a disgraceful approach to get a 70k+ job. Pretty good post though!

  15. Pingback: When Uncle Sam frowns….. «

  16. Sachin

    Dude, you really express it brilliantly… Keep all your blogs coming on and on …

  17. Priyanka

    Awesome!! 🙂

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